Your Light Rising in the Darkness
Isaiah 58:10 (NIV)
“..and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday… “
I must admit that I have difficulty determining the difference between spending myself for the people in need and being taken advantage of by people who fake being in need. However, I would rather err on the side of gullibility than on the side of hard-heartedness or unavailability to God.
One thing is for sure, the people who do fake being physically in need are still very needy in another way – they do need Christ. They need the change that Jesus Christ brings to a heart when we surrender our hearts and lives to Him. Knowing that makes me tend to let people take advantage of me. Here again, like in Part 1, we need God’s wisdom to know how to really help a person. Remember, that this verse is also referencing fasting. As we seek God sacrificially, He will give us the wisdom and desire we need to do this “spending” of ourselves for the needy.
To the Verse:
“…and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed… “
The Amplified Bible says it this way:
“…And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry, and satisfy the needs of the afflicted… “
Does that give a clearer picture?
Do you ever feel like if you give one more ounce of heart into a situation you will surely dry up and die? I think that is spending yourself. Sometimes that is exactly what He calls us to do.
Checking Our Motives
One thing to consider in this kind of situation is “What is your motive?” If we are spending ourselves to impress others, that is not a right motive, is it? All is to be done for God’s glory – to let others see Christ in our lives and to want Him in charge of their lives too.
If we want to glorify God, sharing Christ will always need to be a part of it. Lots of people do good things trying to make the world a better place by helping people and getting satisfaction out of doing good. If we are doing good just so we get that satisfied feeling, then we are really doing that for us, not Him, right? We are doing it for us. Tough words, I know. Please know that I am talking to me too and I never want to skirt around the hard truth to save our feelings.
Just think about it, if you work really hard on something at church or in the community – do you look for recognition? Are you upset if you don’t get applause and other types of praise? Why? Is it because you and I need people to validate us? If so maybe you and I need to check our motives on why we are serving in that area.
Another thing that I tend to do, is doing things to help people but then hoping that they will figure out that it is because God loves them and that I want them to feel His love through me. I am a witnessing wimp. However, when I do that and never indicate that my love for Jesus Christ and His love for them as the reason behind the act of kindness, they may not figure it out. Believe me, this is hard for me to say, because, boldness in talking to people about Jesus is not easy for me either. I do not want to do anything that will cause them to reject me or Him!
Instead, through prayer and seeking God, He can help us to say what we need to say and not say what we do not need to say. He can give us the words. I challenge you as I challenge myself to begin this week, to be courageously pouring myself out for the hungry and being ready to tell people why. (2 Peter 3:15) I would love to hear how you deal with yourself on this issue in the next few days.
I am asking myself: Is it for God’s glory? or for my glory?
Back to the Verse:
“…then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become as the noonday.”
In Matthew 5:14, Jesus said that we (followers of Christ) are the ‘light of the world.’ Where does our light come from? It comes from Him, right?
He is the light in us. It is our light because He gave it to us. We are the light because He put His light in us – to light the world. When we are obedient and have the right motivation, our light – the light of Christ in us – will rise in the darkness of this sin-sick world. It even says here in Isaiah 58 that our night will be lit!
When we spend ourselves for the glory of God, we carry the light of Christ, and His beautiful, freeing, life-giving light rises in the darkness and illuminates the world around us. May Christ’s light shine through all of us today!
Let’s Go to the Lord in Prayer:
Oh Lord, You are so great and so good! You are so wise and so full of mercy and grace. Thank You so much for Your word! Thank You that You speak directly to our hearts and help us to know what You want us to do. Help us to seek You with all our hearts. Help us not to get lazy in our relationship with You, but to seek You and be obedient to You in all we do every single day!
Go Deeper Today: